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Vatican XI having good season

ROME (SE): Overshadowing the final day of the Synod of Bishops on Family Life, the Vatican cricket team took to the field at the Capanelle Ground in Rome on October 24 to play a return match against the Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI.

The Vatican men succeeded in squaring the ledger with the Anglican team running out winners by a comfortable 42 runs. Last year the Anglicans scraped home in the last over of the game.

Over 1,000 people turned up for the match, with the archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Justin Welby, as the guest of honour.

Proceeds from the game went to the Global Freedom Network, a joint anti-trafficking initiative between the Catholic and Anglican Churches.

The Vatican XI is having a good season. Two weeks ago it defeated a predominately Muslim team from Yorkshire in England, in what was described as a triumph for interfaith relations.

The visiting team said they were honoured to be guests at the Vatican and truly appreciated the opportunity to play against and fraternise with the priests and seminarians.

The website of the archbishop of Canterbury reported that after their match, both the Vatican and Anglican teams attended a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica, which Archbishop Welby described as a great honour for his defeated team.

The Vatican side is made up of seminarians and priests in Rome, mostly from India and Sri Lanka, but with members from Pakistan, Australia, England and Ireland.

The Anglican side is largely comprised of ordinands (Anglican seminarian) and young priests, who answered a search by the Church Times (sponsor of clergy cricket in the United Kingdom). Its captain, the Reverend Steve Gray, is the chaplain at Bradfield College, Berkshire.


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